From a technical standpoint, digital CD audio quality is clearly superior to vinyl. CDs have a better signal-to-noise ratio (i.e. there is less interference from hissing, turntable rumble, etc.), better stereo channel separation, and have no variation in playback speed.
There's no question that CDs sound much better than MP3s. But the real downside of the CD is its lack of portability. And having to search through an extensive CD collection to find the song you want to listen to can be frustrating. High-Resolution Audio offers both quality and convenience.
Vinyl sounds better than MP3s ever could. Most of the music is broadcast in some lossy format, where details are missed, and the overall quality is reduced. It happens because audio files get compressed to make them small enough to store thousands of them on the phone, and to stream online.
Turntables look and feel cool. Digital gear is less touchy-feely, and with smart speakers you can play all the music you want without ever touching them. Digital audio is more like an appliance -- it just gets the job done without asking much from you. Maybe that's part of the reason LP fanatics find digital soulless.
While records once held a definite purpose in the world of music, they are now supremely overrated. There are many other ways to listen to and enjoy music that are far more convenient, cheaper, and less pretentious. It's impossible to deny that back then the only method to listen to music was though a record player.
Sure, you might prefer the warm analog sound, specifically its crackling and other imperfections, as well as the visceral experience of actually dropping the needle on a spinning record, but CDs are simply the best sounding physical audio format that most people can get their hands on.
CDs offer full 44.1kHz uncompressed digital audio. Here's what that means, according to “What Data Compression Does To Your Music” (Sound On Sound), which offers a very detailed look at the science behind file compression: The audio is stored digitally on a CD via a technique known as PCM, or Pulse Code Modulation.
Put down your vinyls records and dust off those long-forgotten plastic binders, because CDs are making a resurgence. CD sales in the US increased in 2021 for the first time in 17 years, according to the annual sales report published by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Generally speaking, discs with recorded media will degrade faster than those without. Despite this, unused (with no data) CD-Rs and CD-RWs have the shortest predicted lifespan (five to 10 years), followed by recorded DVD-RWs (up to 30 years). Recorded CD-RWs and DVD-Rs have a predicted lifetime of 20 to 100 years.
In January of 2018, Best Buy announced that they will stop selling CDs, and Target may be following suit. With the rise of smart phones that can hold thousands of songs, CDs have gone the way of audio cassettes and 8-tracks and have become obsolete.
This year, 2020, marks the first year in more than a generation since record sales — that is to say physical vinyl records — have surpassed CD sales. The reasons for this are twofold: CD sales have dropped dramatically in recent years, while sales of vinyl records are actually up this year.
The short answer to the question that so many music fans have asked – 'do people still buy CDs? ' – is absolutely 'yes. ' But despite tens of millions of CD sales worldwide, evidence indicates that far fewer consumers are purchasing CDs amid the pandemic.
A lossless audio file format is the best format for sound quality. These include FLAC, WAV, or AIFF. These types of files are considered “hi-res” because they are better or equal to CD-quality. The tradeoff is that these files will be very large.
CDs are safe investments. Like other bank accounts, CDs have federal deposit insurance up to $250,000 (or $500,000 in a joint account for two people). There's no risk of losing money in a CD, except if you withdraw early.
You should never throw away old CDs. If they end up in the landfill, it's estimated that they could last for up to 1 million years. If they end up in an incinerator, they can release hydrochloric acid, sulfur dioxide, and dioxins into the atmosphere.
CDs also have some pluses when compared to streaming services. They deliver uncompressed audio, whereas most streamed music uses data-compression formats that entail removing some digital information to make song files small enough to stream.
Typical music streaming services like Apple Music or Spotify allow you to stream high-quality MP3s, which have a bit rate of 320kb (kilobytes). Music files on CDs have a bit-rate of 1,411 kbps (this is a limitation of the CD format). High-resolution music can have a bit rate of up to 9,216kbps.
Usually, if the master tapes are in good working order and have been looked after over the years, the best vinyl reissues will come from the original master recordings. These can sound just as good as the original pressings.
But managers and record labels clearly see vinyl as a fad — vinyl makes up just 6 percent of overall album sales, according to Nielsen Soundscan. This may explain why record executives aren't rushing to prop up the roughly 15 remaining record plants in the U.S. “It's a great marketing opportunity.
The future of vinyl is a bit of a gamble, but records will most likely live on in the form of limited runs and special editions. Pressing records isn't a quick process. Orders frequently get postponed, as 30+-year-old technology can't always keep up with demand.
There's lots of reasons why CDs should be seeing the resurgence. Fuelled by music lovers not wanting to lose yet another option for accessing music, both the CD and the vinyl record have started to see sales rise again - despite the advances in online music and services like iTunes and Spotify.
And CD Players are not yet obsolete because people have been buying CDs for 35 years. Remember, you can still buy vinyl and new turntables from ultra budget to high end. CD is actually a very durable physical medium; expect to still be seeing discs and players around for decades to come.
CDs are dead. In 2020, revenue from sales of compact discs in the US added up to $483 million, a 97 percent drop from the format's peak in 2000. Only 31.6 million CD units were shipped in the US last year.